Fear the Walking Dead is an American horror drama television series created by Robert Kirkman and Dave Erickson that premiered on AMC on August 23, 2015. It is a companion series and prequel to The Walking Dead, which is based on the comic book series of the same name by Robert Kirkman, Tony Moore, and Charlie Adlard. The first season, consisting of six episodes, aired in 2015. Its second season, of 15 episodes, premiered on April 10, 2016.
Set initially in Los Angeles, California, the series follows a dysfunctional family composed of high school guidance counselor Madison Clark, her English teacher boyfriend Travis Manawa, her daughter Alicia, her drug-addicted son Nick, and Travis' son from a previous marriage, Chris, at the onset of the zombie apocalypse. They must revamp themselves to survive, as they come to terms with the impending collapse of civilization. On April 15, 2016, AMC announced the series had been renewed for a 16-episode third season to air in 2017.
Cast and characters
- Kim Dickens as Madison Clark, a high school guidance counselor, Travis' girlfriend, and Alicia and Nick's mother.
- Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa, a high school English teacher and Madison's boyfriend, who shares custody of his son, Chris, with his ex-wife, Liza.
- Frank Dillane as Nick Clark, Madison's 19-year-old son, a heroin addict who flunked out of community college.
- Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia Clark, Madison's overachieving teenage daughter and a model student.
- Elizabeth Rodriguez as Liza Ortiz, a no-nonsense nursing student, Travis' ex-wife, and their son Chris's mother. (starring season 1, guest season 2)
- Mercedes Mason as Ofelia Salazar, a hardworking professional with immigrant parents Daniel and Griselda.
- Lorenzo James Henrie as Christopher Manawa, Travis and Liza's rebellious teenage son who resents his father for their divorce.
- Rubén Blades as Daniel Salazar, a barber, Griselda's husband, Ofelia's father, and a Salvadorian refugee who protects his family at any cost.
- Colman Domingo as Victor Strand, a smart and sophisticated businessman with a mysterious past. (recurring season 1, starring season 2)
- Michelle Ang as Alex, one of the few survivors of a plane crash who the Los Angeles group encounters in season 2. Alex is introduced in the Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462 web series. (season 2)
- Patricia Reyes Spíndola as Griselda Salazar, Ofelia's mother, who emigrated from El Salvador with her husband Daniel to escape political unrest. (seasons 1–2)
- Scott Lawrence as Artie Costa, the principal at the high school where Madison and Travis work. (season 1)
- Lincoln A. Castellanos as Tobias, a wise-beyond-his-years high school senior.
- Maestro Harrell as Matt, Alicia's boyfriend. (season 1)
- Shawn Hatosy as Cpl. Andrew Adams, a well-intentioned military man with a soulful disposition, who is out of his element. (season 1)
- Jamie McShane as Lt. Bill Moyers, the leader of the National Guard contingent in charge of protecting Madison's neighborhood. He does not take the complaints of the citizens too seriously and is a loose cannon. (season 1)
- Sandrine Holt as Dr. Bethany Exner, a confident and skilled doctor. (season 1)
- Brendan Meyer as Jake Powell, a teenage boy and one of the two survivors of a plane crash whom the group encounters. He is seriously injured by the plane crash. Jake is introduced in the Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462 web series. (season 2)
- Arturo Del Puerto as Luis Flores, an ally and right-hand man of Victor Strand and Thomas Abigail. (season 2)
- Mark Kelly as Connor, the leader of a group of pirates who hijack the Abigail. (season 2)
- Marlene Forte as Celia Flores, Luis's mother. (season 2)
- Dougray Scott as Thomas Abigail, Strand's partner and the apparent namesake of the boat Abigail. (season 2)
- Daniel Zovatto as Jack (season 2)
- Jesse McCartney as Reed, Connor's brother and a hostile member of the pirates. (season 2)
- Veronica Diaz as Vida, a pregnant woman and one of Connor's pirates. (season 2)
|First aired||Last aired|
|1||6||August 23, 2015||October 4, 2015|
|2||15||April 10, 2016||TBA|
In September 2013, AMC announced they were developing a companion series to The Walking Dead, which follows a different set of characters created by Robert Kirkman. In September, 2014, AMC ordered a pilot, which was written by Kirkman and Dave Erickson, and directed by Adam Davidson, and is executive produced by Kirkman, Erickson, Gale Anne Hurd, and David Alpert, with Erickson serving as showrunner. The project was originally known as Cobalt; Kirkman confirmed, in March 2015, that the series would be titled Fear the Walking Dead. On March 9, 2015, AMC announced it had ordered FTWD to series, with a two-season commitment: the first season, comprising six episodes, premiered on August 23, 2015; the second season, comprising 15 episodes, premiered on April 10, 2016.
In December, 2014, the first four starring roles were cast: Kim Dickens as Madison, the female lead; Cliff Curtis as Travis Manawa, the male lead; Frank Dillane as Nick; and Alycia Debnam-Carey as Alicia. In April and May, 2015, Elizabeth Rodriguez and Mercedes Mason were announced as series regulars, both in unknown roles.
Production of the pilot episode began in early 2015 and ended on February 6, 2015. The pilot episode was filmed in Los Angeles; the remaining first season episodes were filmed in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. Production on the remaining five first season episodes began on May 11, 2015. Adam Davidson, who directed the pilot, also directed the series' second and third episodes. Filming for the second season began in December 2015, with production moving to Rosarito, Baja California, Mexico.
On August 23, 2015, the series debuted simultaneously worldwide on: AMC in the U.S.; AMC Global in major regional markets in Africa, Asia, Europe, Latin America, and the Middle East; and FX in Australia. Hulu holds the show's video on demand rights in the U.S., while Amazon Instant Video owns the streaming rights in Austria and Germany, and will make episodes available online one day after their original airing. Streaming in the United Kingdom is slated to become available to Amazon Prime members in 2016.
On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a rating of 78%, based on 70 reviews, whose average rating is 6.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fear the Walking Dead recycles elements of its predecessor, but it's still moody and engrossing enough to compete with the original." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 66 out of 100, based on 33 critics, indicating "generally favorable reviews".
Elisabeth Vincentelli of the New York Post rated the first two episodes three out of four stars, stating that "[They] are creepily suspenseful–they're great examples of how effective a slow pace and a moody atmosphere can be." Another positive review of the first episode came from Ken Tucker of Yahoo TV, who wrote, "Fear the Walking Dead is a mood piece, more artful than the original series" and that the cast is "terrific". Tim Goodman of The Hollywood Reporter gave an average review, writing, "The 90-minute first episode and the hour-long second episode are, while not actually boring, certainly less magnetic than the original."
One of the harshest negative reviews came from HitFix, on Daniel Fienberg and Alan Sepinwall's podcast, where Fienberg called the premiere episode "awful, just horrible ... as bad as The Walking Dead has ever gotten at its very worst. This is that bad. I've been kind of stunned to see people being generous to it. ... I thought this was almost unwatchably bad." Sepinwall called his B- review "slightly generous".
The second season received mostly mixed reviews from critics. On Rotten Tomatoes, the season has a rating of 72%, based on 26 reviews, whose average rating is 6.8/10. The site's critical consensus reads, "Fear the Walking Dead sets sail in its sophomore season with an intriguing backdrop that doesn't always disguise its deficiencies in comparison to its predecessor." On Metacritic, the season has a score of 54 out of 100, based on 12 critics, indicating "mixed or average reviews".
The U.S. series premiere attracted 10.1 million total viewers, with 6.3 million in the advertiser-coveted 18-to-49-year-old demographic, both cable television records for a series premiere. Numerous international debuts of the pilot also set ratings records. The first season averaged 11.2 million viewers in "live plus-3" ratings (includes VOD and DVR viewing within three days after initial telecast) to become the highest-rated first season of any series in cable history.
|Season||Timeslot (ET)||Episodes||Premiered||Ended||Average viewers|
|Season 1||Sunday 9:00 pm||6||August 23, 2015||10.13||October 4, 2015||6.86||7.61|
|Season 2||15||April 10, 2016||6.67||N/A||N/A||N/A|
Viewers of the first airing on AMC in the U.S. on Sunday at 9:00 pm ET
Awards and nominations
|2015||E! Online Best. Ever. TV. Awards||New Show You're Most Excited to See||Fear the Walking Dead||Won|||
|Writers Guild of America Award||Short Form New Media – Original||L. Signorino and Mike Zunic for "Part 8" (Fear the Walking Dead: Flight 462)||Nominated|||
|2016||42nd Saturn Awards||Best Horror Television Series||Fear the Walking Dead||Nominated|||
|Best Actress on Television||Kim Dickens||Nominated|
|Best Performance by a Younger Actor on Television||Frank Dillane||Nominated|
The first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on December 1, 2015. A special edition version of the first season was released on Blu-ray and DVD on March 22, 2016, with new bonus features, including deleted scenes, seven featurettes, and audio commentaries, by cast and crew, on all six episodes.